Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is a refractive error correction surgery that was approved by the FDA three years before its main alternative, LASIK. Like LASIK, PRK is used to correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Unlike LASIK, there is no corneal flap creation with PRK, making it a better option for people with thin corneas.
PRK has recently been seen as more of an alternative to LASIK, reserved only for those who are not good LASIK candidates. However, PRK enjoys certain advantages over LASIK and may be the better choice for your anatomy or needs.
The best way to learn which type of laser vision correction is best for you is through a one-on-one consultation at the Yorktown or Poughkeepsie office of Seeta Eye Centers. Our experienced Dutchess County eye surgeons offer many vision correction options and will work individually with you to help you find the best one for your needs.
Why Consider PRK?
There are a number of reasons to consider PRK for permanent vision correction. Three of the top reasons are:
- Your corneas are too thin to support a LASIK flap – with LASIK, a flap is made in the epithelial layer of the cornea to allow for the reshaping of the stroma. With PRK, the entire epithelial layer is removed, making corneal thickness a nonissue
- You have large pupils – If your pupils are larger, LASIK can result in permanent nighttime vision disruptions including starbursts, glare, halos, and a loss of contrast sensitivity. These are not complications that occur due to pupil size with PRK
- You want to avoid flap complications – flap complications are one of the leading causes of revision LASIK and can interfere with clear vision even after they have been addressed. There is no flap in the cornea with PRK, which eliminates any risk of these complications
PRK requires a slightly longer recovery period and permanent results may not be as quickly realized as with LASIK, but the two procedures produce nearly identical results.
Is PRK Safer than LASIK?
Both PRK and LASIK enjoy an impressive safety record, but because PRK does not rely on a corneal flap to access the stroma, it may be a safer option for some patients. Patients who have undergone PRK often have stronger corneas following surgery and do not have any risk of flap infection, wrinkling, or inflammation. There are also fewer instances of dry eye syndrome associated with PRK, which may make the procedure best for people who have traditionally struggled with eye dryness.
There is no single solution that will ideally meet the needs of every patient, but there are several reasons to consider laser vision correction through PRK or LASIK. Give us a call at 845-454-1025 to schedule a consultation at our Yorktown or Poughkeepsie location to learn which option is right for you.